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St. Cloud State University theRepository at St. Cloud State St. Cloud State Bulletin Research Reports and Newsleers 1-1949 St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2) St. Cloud State University Follow this and additional works at: hps:// Part of the Education Commons is Newsleer is brought to you for free and open access by the Research Reports and Newsleers at theRepository at St. Cloud State. It has been accepted for inclusion in St. Cloud State Bulletin by an authorized administrator of theRepository at St. Cloud State. For more information, please contact [email protected]. Recommended Citation St. Cloud State University, "St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)" (1949). St. Cloud State Bulletin. 12. hps://

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Page 1: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

St. Cloud State UniversitytheRepository at St. Cloud State

St. Cloud State Bulletin Research Reports and Newsletters


St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume5, Number 2)St. Cloud State University

Follow this and additional works at:

Part of the Education Commons

This Newsletter is brought to you for free and open access by the Research Reports and Newsletters at theRepository at St. Cloud State. It has beenaccepted for inclusion in St. Cloud State Bulletin by an authorized administrator of theRepository at St. Cloud State. For more information, pleasecontact [email protected].

Recommended CitationSt. Cloud State University, "St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)" (1949). St. Cloud State Bulletin. 12.

Page 2: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)




1. A Survey of the Musical Background of Students Attending the St. Cloud State Teachers College.

Ronald G. Riggs

2. An Abstract of a Research Problem Concerning Speech Courses and Speech Instruction in Some Minnesota High Schools during the years 1938-1948.

E. M. Paulu

Volume 5 January 1949 Number 2

Published by The State Teachers College, St. Cloud, Minnesota. Issued four times a year in the months of January, April, May, and October. Entered as second class matter July 21, 1944 at the post office at St. Cloud, Minnesota under the act of August 24, 1912.

Page 3: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

This bulletin is published by the Bureau of Field Service by the St. Cloud State Teachers College

Floyd E. Petkins, Director 0. J. Jerde, Assistant Director

The Bureau is aided in its publications by a committee of 'the faculty composed of

John Cochrane . .. ... ... ... .. . . .. . . . ...... .. . Social Studies Harvey Waugh . .. . . ............. .. ... . . . ... Music and Art Audra Whitford . .. . .. . . . . . .. . . .... . . . . · .. . . .. Business Education M. Elizabeth Barker .. ......... . ...... . . . ... . Health and Physical

Education Agnes Serum ...... . . .. .. . .. . .... . . .... . . ... English John Gunning . . ... . ...... ..... .. . ... . .. . .. . . Laboratory Schools Arthur F. Nelson ....... . ... . . . . . .. . .. . ... ... Mathematics and Science Floyd 0. Gilbert .... .. ... . .. . ... ... .. ...... . . Professional Studies

Page 4: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

Foreword This bulletin is devoted to two studies. The first concerns itself with

the musical background of the students attending the St. Cloud State Teachers College. The author of this is Mr. Ronald G. Riggs. Mr. Riggs has been identified with public school music in Minnesota for a number of years. He has been particularly interested in school bands. It was under his directorship that the State Teachers College Band became the fine musical organization that it is.

Mr. E. M. Paulu heads the Research Bureau at this institution. He is author of the second study which appears in the following pages. He par­ticularly wishes to call attention to the fact that what appears here is a summary statement of the problem. More detail and especially the statisti­cal material which supports the conclusions is available to individuals who may be interested. It may be secured by writing to Mr. E. M. Paulu, Director of Research, State Teachers College, St. Cloud, Minnesota.


Page 5: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

, A Survey oF the Musical Background oF Students Attending

the St. Cloud State Teachers College Ronald G. Riggs

This study was completed in February, 1942, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Education. The author was guided throughout the study by Dr. Hazel B. Nohavec of the University of Minnesota, who served as major adviser. The valuable suggestions and constructive criticisms offered by Dr. Nohavec have been a source of last­ing inspiration to the author.

The data for the survey was obtained through the cooperation of the students and faculty of the St. Cloud State Teachers College. The author is indebted to the following faculty members for their assistance: Mr. D. S. Brainard, Mr. F. 0. Gilbert, Miss Ethel G. Graves, Mr. Richard M. Smith, and the entire Music Department. The author also received valuable in­formation from the bulletins prepared by Mr. E. M. Paulu, Director of the Bureau of Research for the St. Cloud State Teachers College.

The original study was made in careful detail, with a specific analysis for each phase of the d'ata. We are presenting in the following pages a condensed version of the study which will attempt to include the essential findings. We are eliminating an entire section of the original study which included detailed analysis and twelve tables. The complete study may be had for reference purposes by those who wish more complete information. Copies of the study are on :file at the offices of the College of Education or the Music Education Department at the University of Minnesota, and at the Library of the S·t. Cloud State Teachers College.

It should also be mentioned that the study was based on the curricula at the St. Cloud State Teachers College as outlined in the official college bulletin for 1941. The offerings of the College have been greatly ex­panded since 1941 to include a variety of courses for students who are not intending to become teachers. The Department of Music has also made a number of changes in the requirements for music majors. These changes would not affect this study in a material way, and are called to the attention of the reader only for the purpose of accuracy.

I. · Purpose of the Survey The fundamental aim of this survey is to assemble facts which will

give the Music Department of the St. Cloud State Teachers ·College a more complete understanding of the students enrolled and to assist the faculty to serve better the needs of these students.

II. Scope of the Survey It has been very apparent for many years that the musical background

of the students who attend St. Cloud State Teachers ·College is widely varied. This is to be expected because they come from a variety of com­munities. Most of the students come from cities and villages in central Min'Ilesota; in fact, 27 per cent of the 1940-41 students came from the city


Page 6: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)


of St. Cloud and the adjoining territory in Stearns, Benton, and Sher­burne counties. There is always a large number of students from the Mesabi and Cuyuna Iron Ranges. A few students come from every sec­tion of the state, and also from aJdijoining states.

This study will be concerned primarily with the following data:

1. The musical background of the degree students. 2. The musical background of the two-year students. 3. The musical background of the music majors. 4. The musical background of the band and orchestra members. 5. The musical background of the average student.

III. Method to be Used in the Survey The data for this survey was obtained\ by a questionnaire which was

distributed to a representative sampling of the students enrolled in the four-year degree course, the two-year diploma course, and those majoring in music.

The Questionnaire and Its Treatment

Preliminary Survey. A preliminary survey was made during the second summer session of 1940. A list of forty questions was dictated to a class of twenty-two members in Music Appreciation. These questions were td~signed to produce information about the musical knowledge of summer school students upon entrance into the course. The facts re­vealed by this informal questionnaire established the need for a formal survey which would include a larger number of students.

Formulation of the Questionnaire. Seventy-five questions were in­cluded in the questionnaire, which was drawn up in September, 1940. These questions were widely varied in nature, but each one made a con­tribution to the purpose of the questionnaire, which was to get facts about the musical knowledge of the average student, and the source of such knowledge. With only a few exceptions, the questions may be classified into the following types: (1) previous musical training,; (2) musical en­vironment in the home, (3) musical preferences, (4) knowledge about radio, movie, or concert musicians, (5) occupation of parent, (6) home community. ·

First Use of the Questionnaire. During the fall of 1940, the question­naire was given to two hundred and eighty-five students in first year classes. It became apparent, however, upon close examination, that many of the questions were not productive of significant information. The present survey, therefore, is limited to thirteen selected questions con­tained in the original list of seventy-five questions. Each of the questions used in the survey is of direct value in determining the musical background of the students. The writer does not aJdvance the claim that the study measures all factors which might have a bearing on the musical back­ground of the students, 'but rather that they are indicative of this back­ground. The purpose of this survey is to make an analysis of the facts


Page 7: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)


revealed by these thirteen questions, answered by a representative sam­pling of college students, i'll regard to their musical background.

Types of Questions Selected. There were four main categories of questions selected for this survey. The first group of questions were de­signed to produce information aJbout the pre-college musical training of stud~nts. The second group of questions tends to show the continued par­ticipatiO'll of members of high school music organizations in similar groups, in college. The third type of question is concerned with the personalities and musical preferences of the students. The fourth type of question seeks informa'tion regarding the home and community of the students. (See Table I)



Did you study music appreciation or music rudiments in high school?

Yes . ... .... No .. .. . . . .

Can you play the piano? Yes ... . .... No .... . .. .

Did you sing in a high school chorus or glee club? Yes. . . . . . No ..... .

Are you enrolled in a college vocal organization? Yes ...... No ..... .

Did you play in a high school band or ~rchestra? Yes . . . . . . No . . ... .

Are you enrolled in the college orchestra or band? Yes. . . . . . No . . ... .

Have you ever taken private music lessons? Yes ...... No ..... .

What are your mai'll hobbies?. : . .... . . . .... . . . .. , .................. .

Would you take a course in music appreciation if it were not re-

quired? Yes . . ...... No ... . .... .

Have you ever taken a music talent test? Yes . . . . .. No .. .. . .

Which type of music do you prefer? Vocal. .... . .. Instrumental. . . .... .

What was the approximate size of the city or village where you attended

high school? .................. .

What is the occupation of your father, mother, or other guardian?


Page 8: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)




Enrollment 1940 1941

Men Women Total Men Women Total

Degree students 295 307 602 202 303 505 Two-year students 27 317 344 15 275 290 Music majors 12 21 33 9 22 31 Total enrollment 334 645 979 226 600 826 Band and Orchestra 42 45 87 33 52 85

Sampling of Students in This Survey.

·The questionnaire was submitted to two hundred and eighty-five stu­dents in the fall of 1940. This is 29.2 per cent of the entire college enroll­ment. The enrollment dropped in the fall of 1941, so the same percentage of the student body was used in distributing the questionnaires in 1941. The sampling of students used in both yea:rs is given in Table III.



Ciassifica tion 1940

Degree s·tudents 155

Two-year students 106

Music majors 24

Average student (total) 285






Band and Orchestra Members. A representative number of band and orchestra members was included, by charnce, in ·the students who receive~d the questionnaires. The author is primarily concerned with the instru­mental branch of music, so it was considered advisable to include a supple­mentary study of members of instrumental groups in this survey. Band and orchestra members are drawn from all classifications of students, wit l:: performing ability and depen1d'ability t he main requisites. All musi< majors are required to play in either the band or orchestra for t wo years unless they choose to specialize in the vocal field. With the above ex· ception, however, membership in the instrumental groups is entirely vol untary. Two credits are given for satisfactory membership in the bane or orchestra for one year.


Page 9: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

Administration of the Questionnaire.

The questionnair,e was submitted to the students in various classes included in · the first year of college work. Faculty members· in several departments extended most cordial cooperation in thus making it possible to carry on the survey. In o:rtder to avoid duplications, students were re­quested to avoid filling out the questionnaire in more than one instance.

Procedure. The administrative procedure was the same in all classes. The first step was to make brief explanation of the purpose of the survey, after which the questionnaires were distributed to the stu­dents. Before the students ·started filling in the questionnaire, the note at the top of the first page was read orally. No other explanations were given about the questions, in order to receive genuine reactions from the students.

Accurate Responses. Ample precautionary measures were taken to assure the stud~nts that they might answer the questions truthfully with­out fear of consequences. The following note on the questionnaire was read orally :

Please answer all questions sincerely. This question­naire is for research purposes; it is therefore important that the data be accurate. You do not need to sign your name, and your answers have no bearing on the grade you will receive in this course.

Entire Questionnaire Used. When the questionnaires were distribut­ed in 1941, it had been decided to limit the survey to the thirteen questions previously mentioned. It was necessary, however, to give the survey similar procedures to those used in 1940, so the stuld·ents were asked to answer all seventy-five questions. No indication was given that all ques­tions were not of equal importance to the survey.

No Duplications. An entirely different sampling of students was reached in 1941, than that surveyed in 1940. The questionnaires were dis­tributed in first-year classes, which would not be repeated a year later. In addition to this measure, students were requested to avoid making duplicate replies. The conclusions of the survey are based on the reponses of five hundred and twenty-five college students. (1940-285, 1941-240).


Music Appreciation Courses in Minnesota High Schools. Thirty per cent of the students attending St. Cloud State Teachers

College included a course in Music Appreciation or Music Rudiments in their high school training. This fact shows a failure of 70 per cent of the high schools to include music courses as an important part of their cur­ricula. Music courses in most high schools are electives, if offered at all. The percentage of high school students who do not attend college is much larger than the percentage of such students who continue their formal education. A study of non-college high school graduates would perhaps show that a lower percentage of such s'tudents had taken a music course in high school t'han in the case with college students.


Page 10: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

Only 60 per cent of the college music majors had taken a course in music appreciation or rudiments prior to entrance in college. These stu­dents were interested in music during their high school careers, but were not affoflded an opportunity to study music as a regular part of the course of study.

Ability to Play the Piano. A surprisingly large number of the college students profess an ability to play the piano. The two-year course stu­dents show a larger percentage who claim piano-playing ability (49 per cent) than is true of the degree students (36 per cent). This is probably due to the fact that 93 per cent of the two-year students during 1940 and 1941 were women, as compared with 52 per cent proportion of that sex among the degree students. It must not be assumed that these students have attained a high level of proficiency as performers on the piano, but definite information of value is thus given to our survey of their musical backgrounds.

It has been pointed out that 78 per cent of the music majors can play the piano upon entrance in the college. This is a satisfactory proportion, because all music majors must take one year of piano lessons during their college study.

Participation in Vocal Music. The survey has proved that 66 per cent of the students attending St. Cloud State Teachers College during the years covered by this survey had been members of a high school chorus or glee club. This large percentage of students who participated in high school vocal organizations may be explained by the large proportion of women students in the college, and by the fact that most of the students attended relatively small high schools where the music groups included a high percentage of all students enrolled.

The popularity of vocal music is shown by the fact that 28 per cent of the students included in the survey were enrolled in college vocal groups. The College faculty recognizes the necessity for teachers in the elementary grades to be able to teach vocal music, and therefore encourages future teachers of those grades to participate in the college vocal organization.

As might be expected, 90 per cent of the music majors had been mem­bers of vocal groups in high school, and 83 per cent are now enrolled in

, college vocal groups. The small percentage of non-participators in vocal / music is not a serious problem because all music majors must not only take

a year of voice lessons, but they must also complete two years as a member of a college vocal organization prior to graduation.

The small percentage of continued participation by former members of high school vocal groups in college groups raises a suggestion that care­ful study should be given to the problem, in order to get a higher percent­age of the college students to continue in vocal music after they leave high school.

Participation in Instrumental Music. The survey has shown that 35 per cent of the students attending St. Cloud State Teachers College in 1940 and 1941 were former members of high school bands and orchestras. This high degree of participation in instrumental music reflects creditably upon


Page 11: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

the college students, and the music department and instructors in their respective high schools. The small continued participation from high school instrumental groups to similar groups in colleg·e is approximately the same as that for the vocal groups; for example, 41.8 per cent of in­strumentalists and 42.3 per cent of vocalists continue their participation in college.

It has been found that 80 per cent of the music majors were active in high school instrumental music groups. This figure is somewhat lower than their participation percentages in high school vocal groups. It is found that these non-instrumental majors are usually women students who played the piano or concentrated on vocal music during their high school years and did not, therefore take part in the instrumental music pro­gram. Since all music majors are required to take lessons on an orches­tral instrument for one year, and to participate for two years in a college instrumental music group, it is usually possible to give this 20 per cent minority at least the elementary fundamentals of instrumental music.

Private Music Lessons. It has been shown in the survey that 50 per cent of the college students have taken private music lessons at some time prior to college entrance. This fact throws more light upon the high per­centage of students who claimed an ability to play the piano, which was found to be 49 per cent of the two-year students and 36 per cent of the degree group. Since private lessons have long been considered one of the most effective methods for music instruction, we may assume that 50 per cent of the student body at St. Cloud State Teachers College has had at least an op·portunity to learn musical notation, and to enjoy the experience of musical self-expression.

Most (96 per cent) of the music majors have taken private music lessons prior to college entrance. It has been the experience of the author that a serious handicap is imposed on the 4 per cent of the music majors who have entered college without having had the benefit of private music lessons. Such individuals usually have difficulty when they enroll in elementary music courses such as Harmony and Ear-Training.

Hobbies. The survey has indicated that 34 per cent of the students attending St. Cloud State Teachers College included music in listing their hobbies. This fact is understandable and logical when we review the findings of the survey in showing the percentages of students who par­ticipate in music groups; who play the piano; and who have taken music lessons. Music has assumed an important role in the life of a large percentage of the students in the college where this survey was conducted.

Other hobbies were indicated by the students as follows: "Sports" 44 per cent, "Reading" 34 per cent, "Dancing" 21 per cent, "Home Economics" 8 per cent, "Photography and Art" 9 per cent, "Collections" 11 per cent, and "Science" 1 per cent.

Music majors were not as loyal to "Music" as a hobby as we might expect, since only 61 per cent listed music as a hobby. This is probably due to an attitude toward music as a vocation rather than as an avocation.


Page 12: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)


Attitude of Students Toward Required Music Courses. It has been shown that 84 per cent of the college students ind1cate a receptive attitude toward the required music courses in the curricula. The dissenting group of 16 per cent is perhaps no larger than most teachers expect in any of the required courses.

The two-year course curriculum requires Music 250, "Teaching Music in the Elementary Grades." Eighty-five per cent of the two-year students indicated a desire to enroll in the required music course.

The degree course requires Music 121, "Music Appreciation." In the survey, 81.4 per cent of the degree students accepted willingly the· judg­me'Ilt of the faculty that an appreciation and understanding of music is part of the preparation for teaching as well as for general cultural back­ground.

Music Talent Tests. An increase of 100 per cent is noted in the general student body between 1940 and 1941 in the instances where music tale'Ilt tests had been used. Only 6.4 per cent of the degree stuld:ents had taken music talent tests in the 1940 survey, but this proportion rose to 13.3 per cent in the 1941 statistics. A similar rise is noted among the two-year students in the figures for the two years ; from 3.6 per cent in 1940 to 13.3 per oent in 1941. A slight decrease from 33.3 per cent in 1940 to 31.8 per cent in 1941 is found among the music majors. When all students included in the survey are considered, it will be noted that only 7.7 per cent of the 1940 group had taken music talent tests, but that 15 per cent of those incluld'ed in 1941 had taken such tests.

The increase in the use of music talent tests dur ing the one year in­terval in this survey is an encouraging sign.

Preference Between Vocal and Instrumental Music. Instrumental music is the preference of 60 per cent of the college students, with 29 per cent preferring vocal music, and 11 per cent indicating a reluctance to make a choice between the two. It should definitely be understood that there is no evidence which would classify the 11 per cent as persons having a dislike for music. The music majors, for example, were the largest group to check both instrumental and vocal music, instead of making a single choice.

Influence of Home Community. Nearly 50 per cent of the students in the St. CloUid: State Teachers College attended the high schools in small villages with a population of less than 2000. It is assumed that such small communities do not usually possess facilities for the study of music which are available in the larger communities. It was found that the level of the musical background of the students in this college is not very high. This statement does not ignore the large percentage of musical participa­tion by the college students, but it is claimed that the knowledge of music possessed by the average student is only elementary. These students have had little opportunity to hear music at its higher levels.

The two-year course students are more subj-ect to this limitation than the degree students, because the survey .shows us that 62 per cent of the former group attended high school in villages with Jess than 2000


Page 13: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

people, as compared with 41 per cent from the same size communities in the latter group.

The fact is stressed that the survey was interested in the size of the city where the studell't attended high school, rather than the residence of the parent, because of the 33 per cent of the students who live on farms.

Occupation of Parents. The Research Bureau of the St. Cloud State Teachers College issued Bulletin No. 3 in 1940, which classified the "Occu­patiO'Ils of Parents" for that year. The 1941 bulletin was not available at the time of this survey when being completed. The Research Bureau d~d not use the Minnesota Occupational Scale, but the writer adjusted the figures for 1940 with Bulletin No. 3 so that we corr·espond closely in es­sential facts. The figures developed in our own survey were used, there­fore, in this discussion, as well as in previous analytic statements.

An average of the figures for 1940 and 1941 shows that 33.8 per cent of the parents of the coHege students were engaged in occupations in­cluded in Classes V, VI, and VII*. These are the occupations usually re­ceiving low remuneration and requiring relatively little training or skill.

The reason for including the occupations of parents in this survey is based on the belief that the home environment is one of the most im­portant factors in the development of a musical background. ·The facts shown in the survey indicate quite definitely that only a small percentage of the students at St. Cloud State Teachers College come from homes where the parents are included in the higher income levels. We may con­clude that the majority of the students have not had the financial means to permit them to have extensive musical training or to own musical in­struments.

Conclusions and Recommendations.

1. Music appreciation and rudiments courses are lacking in many cur­ricula of the smaller high schools in Minnesota. These courses should be made availabl'e for all stu1d:ents, especially for the musically talented per­sons who may aspire to be music teachers, or educators.

2. The small town private music teachers, and especially the piano teachers and public school music educators, are arousing great interest in musical activities on the part of a large number of young people. More than 50 per cent of the students in St. Cloud State Teach•ers College have had some previous musical training, but only a few have gone far enough with music to be well-grounded in the fundamentals. Music teachers should examine their teaching methods carefully to detect deficiencies in attention to the basic rudiments of music. The writer does not intend to make any statements which detract from the splendid work being accom­plished by the music educators in the smaller Minnesota schools, because it is realized that the over-emphasis on public performance and contest "A" ratings is often due to the policies of the school administration.

Class V -Semi-skilled OCC'Upatloos, minor clerical positions, and minor business. Class VI -8llghtly s~llled trades, an<f other occupations· requiring little traln-ln·g or BJblllty. Class V'II-Day laiborers of all classes.

(Minnesota Occupational Soale)


Page 14: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

' /

3. The us'e of music talent tests needs encouragement. The survey shows a very limited use of the many excellent music talent tests. The necessity for care in using the results of music talent tests is recogniz'ed, but it is probably true that such tests consitute an objective supplement to the observations of the music educator.

4. Music is shown to be a hobby of a large percentage of the college students. Opportunities should be extended to these students to par­ticipate in musical groups, and to hear frequent musical programs as a part of the coUege entertainments and convocations.

5. Talent is plentiful at St. Cloud State Teachers College for splendid vocal and instrumental groups. Every effort should be made to secure a greater interest in participation by former members of high school music groups in similar groups in the college.

6. New students at the college who expect to be music majors should have had a well-grounded training in music appreciation, music rudiments, and on the performance of at least one musical instrument. This survey shows deficiencies in the musical background of a small number of music majors which will handicap their college work.

7. The Music Department at the college should make every effort to raise the standards of music education in Central Minnesota, and in this way improve the musical background of future college students.

8. The facts shown in the survey about the pa:dicipation of the col­lege students in musical activities are extremely significant. When the typical occupation of the parents and the average size of the home com­munity of these students are analyz'ed, it is quite apparent that many obstacles have been overcome in reaching the relatively high cultural level of musical appreciation which has been found typical.

9. It is recommended that a similar study be made in each of the Min­nesota State Teachers Colleges so that a comparison of findings could be made. This would be helpful to the educational program of the entire state.


Page 15: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)



Minnesota Occupational Scale, "Experimental Child Study,"

Century Company, 1931.


Research Manual, Perine, Minneapolis, 1940.


(a) Catalog for 1941.

(b) Bulletin No. 3, 1940.

Bureau of Research.

*NOTE: The material for this survey was obtained almost entirely by the research of the author. The bibliography, therefore, is not extensive.

Page 16: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)


Years 1938-1948 E. M. Paulu

A. PURPOSE OF STUDY. The purpose of this study is to determine, if possible, needs for

extension of speech curricular offerings at the St. Cloud Teachers College as based on information regarding existing speech instruc­tion in the Junior and Senior High Schools of Minnesota during the last ten years.



In order to secure the needed information from Minnesota High Schools a questionnaire was mailed to them. The purpose of the ques­tionnaire was to elicit data regarding the status of speech instruction in the high schools of this state. The questionnaire* is comprehen­sive and was so drawn up as to reveal information on: 1. Separately scheduled speech courses in Minnesota schools during

the past ten years. 2. Speech training offered in Minnesota schools as part of English

or other courses over the past ten years. 3. Extent to which speech cour ses were dropped or modified to

eliminate speech instruction. 4. Extra curr icular speech activities offered students during the

past ten years. 5. Record of plays produced dur ing the last five years. 6. Attitude toward or against adopting a one-semester required

speech course in high school. 7. Willingness to cooperate financially with neighboring school sys­

tems in utilizing the services of a speech correction specialist.

/ C. LETTER OF INSTRUCTION. A letter accompanied the questionnaire to the recipient the pur­

pose of the study, the institution conducting the same, and the uses to which the data were to be put.

D. LETTERS. Four hundred and eighty-one (481) high school principals as

listed in the 1946-1947 State Department of Education, Minnesota Education Directory were recipients of the questionnaires. A self­addressed stamped envelope was included for their response. Replies

*For questionnaire write Bureau of Research. 18

Page 17: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

were received from 153 of the 481 high schools contacted. The re­sponses according to size of schools answering were distributed as follows:

·Enrollment No. of Respondents 1,000 & up ..... 0 . 0 . 0 . . . .. 0 . . 0 0 . 0 . . 16

900 - 999 .. 0 .. .. .. 0. 0 0 0 ° 0 .. . .. 0. 3 800 - 899 . .. 0. 0 .. 0 0. 0 ... 0....... 6 700 - 799 .. 0 0 0 ..... 0 0 . . . 0..... . . 3 600 - 699 .. 0 . . 0 . ..... 0. 0 0 0 .... 0. 0 500 - 599. 0 0 0 0. 0 0. 0 0 0 0. 0 0 0. 0 0 0. . 6 400- 499 .. 0 0 oo 0. 00 0. oo 0 . . . .. 00 0 10 300 - 399.0 .... 00 0 0. 0 0 0 0 0. 0 0 0 oo. 15 200 - 299. 0 0 0 . . . . . 0 0 0. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .. 23 100 - 199.0 0 0 0 0. 0 . . . 0. 0 0 ... oo 0 .. 49

0 - 99. 0 0 0 0 .. . ... 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 . . 0 22

153 Thirty-four (34) of the schools with enrollments above 500 re­

sponded to the questionnaire; whereas 119 with enrollments below 500 responded. It is obvious that the smaller schools respond in large numbers.

The number of schools responding was very satisfactory, answers having been received from 31.43 % of all the schools. It might there­fore seem reasonab}e to presume that we received data representative of the entire cross section of high schools in the state of Minnesota.

E. TABULATION OF DATA. By consulting a copy of the mailed questionnaire it is apparent

that the information received from the responding high schools can be assembled so as to answer a number of questions. These questions with the pertinent information that was obtained from the returned questionnaire follows:

I. To The Best Of Your Knowledge What Separately Scheduled Speech Courses Do Or Did Your School Offer Your Students During The Past Ten Years?

1. Which Courses Offered. The courses can be classified as debate, expression, radio,

theater, and public speaking. Within these groups there are s•everal sub-divisions. Under theater we find drama, dramatics, speech and dramatics, stage, stage craft, stage and radio. It is very likely that the courses listed under theater offer subject material that overlaps from course to course. This obs•ervation certainly is true of the courses listed under public speaking, under which captions we find the following: fundamentals of public speaking, fundamentals of speech, public speech, public speaking I, public speaking II, special speech class, speech, speech and jour-


Page 18: St. Cloud State Teachers College Bulletin (Volume 5, Number 2)

nalism, speech correstionist, speech and discussion, spe~h and dramatics, speech and English. The most frequently listed speech courses are in public speaking under the titles of public speaking and speech. It is interesting to observe that according to the reports received, the schools in the 1,000 enrollment-group are the only ones which offer debate, radio, and theater for credit. In the courses classified under public speaking, schools of all sizes offer such courses, from the smallest to the largest of the re­spondents, with well over 60% of them offering such courses in the zero to 500 enrollment group.

2. Courses When First Offered. There is no outstanding year when these cours'es were first

offered. Their introduction was very gradual, and uniform from year to year over the ten year period.

3. If Dropped, What Year? After the courses had been introduced, very few of them

were dropped and the drop was just as uniform through the ten year period as was the introduction of the courses.

4. Length of Course? The courses varied in length from 4 weeks to 2 s'emesters.

The median of time-length is 6 weeks on basis of replies from 100 of the responding schools. Since the schools with enrollments up to 500 constituted a majority of the group, they are mostly responsible for the largest number of speech courses offered. One hundred and forty-four (144) of the schools with enrollment over 400 are responsible for most of the cours·es offered six weeks or longer. In other words, the smaller schools recognize the need for speech-trah1ing courses and give the same, but are compelled by circumstances to cut speech offerings to the minimum in point of semester hours.

5. Speech Courses, Number of Sections.

The smaller high schools offer such courses in one section. But a few of them offer this work in classes having two, three

/ and four sections. An unusual situation exists in which five high schools with enrollments up to 100 offer four sections in speech. However, 77 high schools with enrollments below 200 offer one section. The extent of speech work done in the high schools is not revealed by the number of sections becaus·e it is possible to offer extensive speech work in connection with English. This point will be commented on later.

6. Regarding Preparation in Semester Hours of Speech-Training Instructors.

We attempted to find an answer to this question: How many semester hours of college speech-training were had by High School instructors of speech? Only 72 responses were made to


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this proposal of the questionnaire. These responses came from High Schools with enrollments up to 100 clear through to en­rollments above 1,000. The median semester hours is 24.3. The range is zero through 68. Twenty-seven (27) of the teachers had less than 16 semester hours of training. If this number is representative of conditions in the entire state than 1;3 of the teachers of speech have a very limited preparation for this as­signment. Thirty-five (35) of the teachers are employed in schools with enrollment under 700, and 26 of those teachers have training below the median for the entire group. If these figures are representative of conditions in speech training throughout the state, than (a) teachers in smaller high schools in charge of speech courses have some training, (b) the training is probably inadequate for the job that they have to do.

7. Where Speech Training Was Received by Instructors.

Nineteen smaller colleges had given speech training to 47 of the teachers, with 2 of these colleges contributing 19 out of the 47 college-trained teachers in small high schools. Fifty-seven (57) instructors received their training at the University of Min­nesota. Twenty of the instructors had courses at 12 teachers col­leges. No teachers college stands out distinctly as to the school to which teachers of speech go to prepare for speech training in high schools. This might indicate that speech as such receives minor emphasis in the teacher colleges of Minnesota. Insofar as such teachers need to be prepared better for their duties, speech courses in our teacher colleges need strengthening.

II. To The Best Of Your Knowledge, What Speech Training Do Or Did You Offer Your Students As A Part Of English Or Other Courses Over The Past Ten Years?

1. Speech Courses Offered as Part of English. The titles of courses which include speech ranged from Eng­

lish 7 (Seventh grade English) through English 12. A combina­tion of speech anrd English occurred most frequently in schools with enrollment under 600 high school students. In other words. it is the smaller high schools which resort to a combination of English with speech. However, it must not be presumed that the smaller schools are alone responsible for this practice. There was a strong tendency to combine English and speech in grades 11 and 12 in schools of all sizes.

2. When Speech Courses Were First Offered as Part of English. There is no year or group of years when this happened.

However, a slight increase in combination of courses was per­ceptable at the conclusion of the war.

3. Speech Courses When Dropped. Very few speech courses were dropped, the number is really


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negligible indicating that such courses once introduced are recog­nized for their worth and retained in the curriculum or that the conservatism of human nature operates in retaining a course whether it is or is not good.

4. Length of Speech Unit. Most of the speech course work was offered for a period of

six weeks (out of 188 respons,es to this question the mode is 100, the figure opposite six weeks.) Apparently most of the speech units are given as a combination course with English.

5. Number of Sections in Courses Which Offer Speech As Part of English.

Eighty or nearly one-half of 170 respons·es declare that their school has but one section in combined English and Speech; 27, that they have two sections; and 22, that they have three sec­tions. If we compare the number of classes devoted exclusively to speech with those in which speech is combined with English, it would appear that the small schools cannot offer separate courses in speech, for want of sufficient teaching personnel. Af­ter all, approximately % of Minnesota High Schools have limited enrollments, so combined English and speech courses seem to be the inevitable practice.

6. No. of Students Enrolled in Speech Given As Part of English. The table shows: range 0-50 and a median of 37.5. This

means that the average size of class is 37. But there were many large classes in the smaller schools. Seventy-six (76) smaller schools reported class-sizes from 0-30 and 111 of the smaller schools reported class size from 30 to 55. The average size of classes was 33 pupils (Md. 33.3 with 2 modal points, one at 20 and the other at 50). Forty-two (42) classes in thes·e smaller schools had 50 pupils or more enrolled per class. Another ob­servation needs to be made. Only 19 of 242 classes had fewer than 15 students enrolled. Judging by current practices the large class sizes warrant retention of this curricular offering.

7. Instructors and Number of Semester Hours of CoHege Speeeh / Training.

The range· in semester hours is zero through 60. Only a few of the instructors had many hours of training. Q3 is 21.3. Three quarters of the instructors had fewer than 22 semester hours of training. Q2 is 12.3 which means that one-half of the instructors had less than 14 hours of training. Q1 is 7 which means that 14 of the instructors had less than 8 semester hours of training in speech. Very clearly most of the speech teachers do not have a major in speech training and most of those teachers do not even have a minor in speech training.

8. Colleges in Which Instructors Received Speech Training. Twenty-four (24) of the smaller colleges claimed 70 instruc-


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tors as graduates. In addition 33 of the speech teachers had speech training in teacher colleges. St. Cloud supplied 9 in­structors for faculties in high schools with enrollments below 500. Universities supplied 51 teachers of speech training of which 29 had their course work at the University of Minnesota.

III. If Any Of The Above Courses Have Been Dropped Or Modified To Eliminate Speech Instruction Check The Apparent Reason.

We designated reasons for dropping classes as follows: a. Lack of enrollment: b. Lack of staff due to no trained personnel available or no

budgeting provision. c. Curricular revision.

. The total number of courses dropped in all the high schools that responded was only 18. This number is negligible and in­dicates that speech courses are retained wherever they have been established.

IV. What Extra Curricular Speech Activities Do Or Did You Offer Your Students During The Past Ten Years?

1. 1 Act, 2 Act, 3 Act Plays When First Offered? There is no peak-year to show when first offered. Such plays

have been too gradually introduced. Most of the schools have first offered this activity at a time preceding the years covered by this study.

2. 1-3 Act Play When Dropped. The data indicates that once introduced plays are not dropped.

They remain a popular addition to extra curricular speech work in high schools. ·

3. Number of Students Participating in Play Production. The range is 0-60, median is 35.3. The smaller schools have

small sections in this activity compared with sections in the larger schools. Nevertheless the mid-measure shows that most of the class·es are as large as they should be normally. Only 11 of the schools of a total of 147 have classes with fewer than 10 students.

4. Declamatory and Debate Activities. These received new impetus since the close of World War II.

Most probably so because some of these courses had to be re­linquished during the war for want of faculty facilities.

5. Debate and Declamatory When Dropped. Tabulation of responses to this item shows that debate and

declamatory work were dropped by only 28 schools out of a


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• /

large number of them, which does not indicate that this aspect of speech work is losing ground in the schools of Minnesota.

6. Number of Students Participating in Debate and Declamatory Work. ·

The range is 0-50 with a median for declamatory work of 35.5. This number shows a wholesome class size. A few classes enrolled 50 students. Ten of them enrolled under 10 students. The number of students enrolled in debate shows less interest in this activity than in declamatory work.

7. Oratory and Radio Speaking-When First Offered? There is no outstanding year that shows a peak introduction

period for either oratory or radio speaking. A number of such classes have been introduced during the last 10 years, a few dur­ing the war years, and a few more since 1944. The totals are small. However, these courses have been retained once having been in­troduced and, therefore, the number of dropped courses is very low.

8. Number of Students Participating in Oratory and Radio Speaking. The number of participants is small for both oratory and

radio speaking. The classes in oratory are very small. It is possible that participants in this activity receive no class credit. Each school .devoting time to oratory has very few entrants in this line of speech interest. Very few of the students take cours­es in radio speaking which probably indicates wisdom on part of teachers who guide students in the choice of this activity.

9. Interpretive Reading When First Offered. The smaller schools excel in offering this speech interest.

Only 13 schools with enrollments above 500 have classes for stu­dents, whereas 45 schools with enrollments under 600 offer in­terpretive reading courses.

10. Number of Students Participating in Interpretive Reading. Most classes are small and have approximately 10 students

each. Much of this work is done in schools with enrollments up to 500.

11. Operettas and Pageants. There is very little activity along this line in any of the

schools. Of the total number of respondents only 42 present operettas or pageants. The total number of participants in them per school is small.

12. Other Extra Curricular Activities. These are numerous, such as general discussions including

clubs and panels, dramatics, extemporaneous speaking, festivals, auditorium and public programs. These speech activities are


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prominent for the infrequency with which they are offered in Minnesota high schools.

13. Major Institutional Assignments of Directors of School Plays. assignments consist of Commercial, History, Latin,

Mathematics, Physical Education, Social Science, English, and Speech. The English and Speech instructors also direct most of the plays that are presented by high schools. English teachers predominate in this duty by a very large majority.

14. Number of Semester Hours of Class Speec·h Training. The median number of semester hours of training is 17.2,

and the range is 0-50. Of the 86 teachers reported, approximately %, of them have had less than 10 hours of training, but %, of them have had 10 hours or more. Thes·e figures would have more sig­nificanoe had we also, data for years of experience that teachers of speech have had.

15. Institutions in which Instructors Receive Speech Training. Three classifications were made of the institutions that gave

such training: (1) The general college (2) Universities of out­standing reputation (3) State Teachers Colleges. The general colleges and the state teachers colleges have, as individual in­stitutions prepared very few speech teachers, St. Cloud ranking highest with nine. Universities have turned out most of them. The University of Minnesota made the largest contribution to speech teachers in high schools during the past 10 years with a total of 23. Two-thirds of those instructors are employed in high schools with enrollments under 600.

16. Major Institutional Assignment of Directors of Declamatory and Debate Work.

This assignment is in the fields of English and in Speech, and observation particularly true of schools in which the enrollment falls below the 600 mark. In other words teachers of Science, Social Studies, etc. are not assigned speech work as a general practice.

17. Number of Semester Hom·s of College Speech Training of Speec·h Directors of Declamatory and Debate.

Such training averages approximately 16 hours and most of this is for schools with enrollments up to 500.

18. Institutions in Which Training for Declamatory and Debate Work Was Received.

The institutions are numerous, the general colleges contribut­ing a few of such teachers; Teachers Colleges a few and Univer­sities a small number. Judging from the number of schools re­presented none of them could be pointed to as being the mecca for speech-trained teachers in declamatory and debate work.


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19. Semester Hours of Speech Training and Major Instructional As­signment of Supervisor in Oratory and Radio.

Teachers of English and speech are the principal ones who coach oratory and radio speech. Very few teachers with majors in other fields are asked to coach oratory. The number of sem­ester hours 1n speech training (oratory and radio) approximates from a major to a minor with several instructors who have had many courses in excess of a major.

20. College In Which Trained.

There are many such colleges on the list each preparing only one to four of the teachers (over a 10 year period). The maxi­mum prepared; by the University of Minnesota was 14, the larg­est number prepared by any institution.

21. Interpretive Reading and Operettas.

a. The major instructional assignment of most of the directors of this aspect of speech is English. Music instructors assist.

b. The semester hours of training was approximately 24 but only 35 responses were received in answer to this point.

c. Many institutions graduat ed teachers who did this work. No institution is outstanding for furnishing large numbers of graduates who direct reading and operettas.

22. Pageants.

a. Major Instructional Assignment of Directors Since very few pageants have been presented by high schools

we cannot indicate a major instructional assignment of directors of pageants. This is so because only 14 responses were received regarding the instructional assignments. b. College Training of Directors of Pageants.

No comments can be made on this point for the reason that the frequency of responses is almost zero. c. Institution Where Training Was Received.

The same comments apply to this item as to the preceding one.

V. System Of Financing.

The systems of financing embra·ce the means of paying the costs of speech activities. The systems comprise the activity fund, class funds, school budget, and/ or self-sustaining. The most frequently used system of financing is resort to the building up of an activity fund. Almost one-half of all the 'Speech activ­iti-es were financed out of such a fund. Nearly one-half of the re­sponding schools report that their speech extra-curricular activi­ties are self-sustaining.


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VI. As Far As Records Permit List The Plays Produced In Your School During The Last Five Years.

1. List of Plays Produced. Many plays were reported in the questionnaires. The plays

are too numerous to be included at this point in the study. How­ever, a separate bulletin of these has been prepared and may be had by consulting the Bureau of Research.*

2. Requil'ed Speech Cow·ses-Yes or No. The question for our consideration is, "Staff available would

you favor adopting a one semester required speech course for your high school?" Seventy-eight schools whose enrollment are less than 600 do favor adoption of a required speech course. Schools with enrollments above 600 are non-committal regarding this question.

3. · Speech Conection Specialist. We are concerned at this point with the question, "To what

extent would you be willing to cooperate financially with neigh­boring school systems in utilizing the services of a speech cor­rection specialist for elementary and secondary levels?" a. Large high schools are not interested in utilizing such joint

services because they have ample funds in their school to take · care of all speech difficulties. The smaller schools whose en­rollments run up to 600 are decidedly interested and would utilize joint services such as might be offered to many schools under the direction of one instructor. They list certain prac­tical difficulties that would need to be overcome in order to utilize services of a speech correctionist. These are difficulties and not objections and should be so interpreted.

*Contact Director, Bureau of Research, Teachers College, St. Cloud, Minn. 27

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The Saint Cloud State Teachers College


The Saint Cloud State Teachers College is in great need of a new library.

The present building is inadequate and dangerous. The State Teach­ers College Board, the State Budget Engineer, the State Department of Administration and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secon­dary Schools have all recognized the bad situation and the urgent need for a new building.

The Faculty Library Committee has preparE>d a pictorial booklet pre­senting in detail the unsatisfactory features of the present library building.

If you wish one of these booklets, pleas·e send a postcard to

The Library State Teachers College St. Cloud, Minnesota

We think this booklet will convince you of the importance of obtain­ing money for a new building. It might suggest to you ideas which you could use in making contacts with members of the Legislature.

, We shall need support when our request for this library appropria­tion is presented to the nex~ legislature.

The College welcomes the assistance of everyone in promoting its welfare and in furthering the educational interests of the whole state.


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